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Daredevil – The Man Without Fear

September 8, 2008

When Frank Miller recreated the Batman origin story with his 1987 story Batman: Year One, he was already a very popular writer and artist in the industry. He had started his regular work on the Daredevil franchise and had even introduced a new and very popular character, Elektra, to the series. In 1993 he once again attempts to go back to the beginning of an already popular hero and he retells Daredevil’s origins in Daredevil: The Man Without Fear.

The story starts out with young Matt Murdock, who lives with his father the former boxer Battlin’ Jack Murdock. He is a quiet boy and his father wants him to stay out of trouble and take his studies seriously in order to become successful in life. But one day everything changes, when while trying to save a blind man from being run down by a truck transporting toxic waste, he gets involved in an accident. In the resulting crash, some of the waste spills into Matt’s eyes and blinds him permanently. Somehow the blindness however not only augments his other senses, but magnifies them tenfold. When Matt is released from the hospital and returns to his favorite Gym he is met by failure and frustration, but then when he almost gives up on himself a man approaches him. He calls himself Stick, says that he is also a blind man and wants to train Matt and turn him into a warrior. Their training is hard, but soon enough Matt learns how to concentrate and use his other four senses to his advantage. When his father, who was paid off to throw a fight, wins his match and is afterwards killed by the mobs goons, Matt swears to avenge him. However, while attacking his enemies, something goes terribly wrong and a young girl dies during a struggle. As a result, Stick abandons him and Matt leaves his crime fighting days behind him. Years later, while studying law at a renowned University, he runs into a girl named Elektra, a girl whose feminine charms he can’t escape.

I don’t want to go into too much detail, as the story should not be spoiled to any of you. Let’s just say, that this short synopsis only covers two of the original five issues, so there is still a lot that happens before Matt puts on the costume of the Daredevil. Frank Miller once again imagines a very dark and somber tale. His New York is ruled by the Kingpin a fearless crime lord, who rules the city with an iron fist. The origin tale of Daredevil is both emotionally gripping and action packed to the brim. John Ramita Jr.’s art is spectacular and simple at once. He manages to make the action sequences feel alive and gives the characters speed and agility. This book should not be missed by any fan of the Daredevil and also those who are not familiar with the character should take a look.

Story                  8

Art                      8

Reread Value     7

Overall Rating   8/10

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